Car company Kia today launched an antidote for electric car drivers who are concerned about where to recharge their car next.
KiaCharge’s new one-stop-shop system gives drivers of its cars access to 13,900 UK charging points where they can charge their pure electric or plug-in petrol-electric hybrid vehicles.
It means owners of cars like the electric e-Niro and Soul EV – and drivers of plug-in hybrids like the Sorento PHEV – can access about 68 percent of the public charging network from a single account.
Antidote to range anxiety: Kia has launched a new service through a smartphone app that gives drivers access to nearly 14,000 public charging devices from various network providers
The new KiaCharge service also gives drivers access to more than 1,300 ‘fast’ connections, mostly found in urban hubs and major thoroughfares, offering charging speeds in excess of 50 kW.
And when traveling abroad eventually becomes feasible again after the Covid lockdowns, they will also have access to 178,000 charging points via ‘e-Roaming’ in 28 other European countries, enabling emission-free travel on the mainland without the need for additional contracts. .
The system, developed by Kia in collaboration with Digital Charging Solutions (DCS), works via a smartphone app or via an RFID card (Radio Frequency Identification).
Drivers can choose from two flexible rates – ‘Easy’ and ‘Plus’ – and, just like a smartphone, receive one itemized monthly bill.
The ‘Easy’ fare is aimed at light users, with a one-time fee of £ 1.99 for access to the service and obtaining their KiaCharge RFID card. There are no monthly subscription costs.
Instead, when users plug in, most charging stations (except those on the BP Pulse and Pod Point networks) will require a ‘session fee’ of £ 0.49, after which users pay per kWh of electricity at the ‘instant’ rate from any network.
The ‘Plus’ tariff is aimed at more frequent ‘power users’, who are more dependent on public taxes. They pay a monthly fee of £ 2.99 with no upfront or session fees. Users also pay per kWh, but earn an additional 15 percent discount per kWh from most networks (except BP Pulse, Pod Point and Ionity).
The app allows drivers to locate the devices around them and even plot their fastest route to the available charger. The KiaCharge app also lists the type of device and drivers that are billed through the service instead of signing up to different networks
Kia’s system means that drivers of plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars can access 68% of the entire public charging network in the UK through one system
From launch, KiaCharge will provide access to several major charging networks, including BP Pulse, Pod Point, Ionity, Source London, Chargepoint, NewMotion, Char-gy and ESB
Users can also add a new or existing BP Pulse bolt-on subscription to their KiaCharge account for £ 7.85 per month. This subscription gives a discount of up to 40 percent when charging almost 7,000 chargers within the BP Pulse network, compared to the ‘instant’ charging rate.
There will also be an additional charge for Ionity later in 2021, to coincide with the launch of Kia’s next-generation battery-powered electric car, which, thanks to its maximum charge capacity of 800 V, will support the fast charging capabilities of the Ionity network. .
Kia UK said: “From launch, KiaCharge will provide access to several major charging networks, including BP Pulse, Pod Point, Ionity, Source London, Chargepoint, NewMotion, Char-gy and ESB.
“There are also several other networks, including certain regional services.”
Kia said, ‘There are plans to further expand KiaCharge’s coverage in 2021. Because they have access to these networks via a single platform, drivers no longer need to log in to different accounts with multiple charging point operators. ‘
Kia said: “Located in urban hubs and along major thoroughfares, such chargers allow Kia e-Niro and Soul EV drivers to take full advantage of each vehicle’s fast charging capabilities.
Paul Philpott, president and chief executive of Kia Motors UK added: “The availability and suitability of public charging points remains a perceived hurdle for many potential electric car buyers.
“KiaCharge tries to overcome this by offering our customers a comprehensive, easy-to-use public charging service, accessible from a single account.”
He added: “This is an important step for Kia as we look for new ways to make electric car ownership a more viable and stress-free option for many more drivers.”
The Korean brand’s bosses said the new app aims to “ remedy this by providing our customers with a comprehensive, easy-to-use public charging service accessible from a single account. ”
Drivers can choose from two flexible rates – ‘Easy’ and ‘Plus’ – and receive one itemized monthly bill, just like a smartphone
KiaCharge is available to all owners of existing and future Kia pure electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), including the 64kWh Kia e-Niro (pictured) capable of up to 452 miles on a single charge, and the new Kia Sorento PHEV
The UK arm of the Korean car company said: ‘The rates for KiaCharge are completely flexible and users can switch between these rates with just one month’s notice. They receive a single monthly bill for using the service, rather than individual bills for each charge, giving them a complete overview of their charging activity in one place. ‘
The KiaCharge app also enables route planning to help users navigate their way to charging stations at their final destination or along a route.
KiaCharge is available to all owners of existing and future Kia pure electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), including the 64kWh Kia e-Niro, which can travel up to 452 miles on a single charge, and the new Kia Sorento PHEV.
Drivers can log in to KiaCharge and manage their account through the app or online at www.kiacharge.com
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